Reflections of Faith
Read and be inspired by a reflection based on today's Gospel made by members of the Verbum Dei Family in Manila.
Are There Prophets in our Times?
This Sunday, we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, the precursor of Jesus Christ, who announced the coming of the Messiah into the world and prepared the way for it.
John the Baptist is probably the most cited person in the gospels apart from Christ himself. What was his role in the mission of Jesus? Why was he thus mentioned in every single Gospel account? And most importantly, what does his life have to say about our own Christian lives today?
True Nourishment in the Eucharist
How can one expect to be strong if he does not eat? And neither is it only about eating, but of taking the right nourishment. Have you ever thought for yourself what would make up a healthy spiritual diet? And do you invest time and effort to be healthy in body as well as in spirit?
Proper rest, a correct diet and regular exercise are three essential things that need to be taken care of for a healthy lifestyle. In the same way, spiritual rest, spiritual exercise and a spiritual diet are components to live a harmonious and healthy inner life. Learning how to rest, to be disciplined in your diet and having the proper exercise ensures a life that is fruitful and happy both on the inside and on the outside.
The feast of Corpus Christi is about being nourished in our faith through our active participation in the Eucharist, and the principal nourishment is the Person of Christ Himself, in the table of the Word and the table of the Eucharist. "I am the living bread", says Jesus, a bread that is alive and dynamic. It is a kind of nourishment that does not come by mere reception, but by active participation. In other words, we are not invited to the mass to receive the body of Christ like an object; but rather, we are invited to the mass to participate in a meal with Christ as a subject - a Person. Let us explain further.
Trinity Sunday is a call to remember the identity of the God whom Jesus Christ has revealed: Father, Son and Holy Spirit - a Triune God, a God that is One and yet three, a God that is united in their diversity, a God who is not solitary but community, a God of love and relationship who created man and woman in that same image and likeness of love.
"Holy Spirit, Help me Love God More!"
Today we celebrate Pentecost, the 50th day that concludes Easter season. Throughout this season, we have been pondering on the events of the life of Jesus in the light of the resurrection experiences of his first disciples. We began our reflections with the appearance of Jesus to his disciples behind locked doors, and we conclude this Sunday with the same passage where Jesus greets them with peace. "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
In Her and In His Disciples, He is Glorified
On this Seventh Sunday of Easter, the first reading brings us to the upper room after the ascension of Jesus, where the disciples were praying in wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. And one interesting detail that the Acts of the Apostles makes is the presence of Mary.
Why is there this sudden mention of Mary, when she is hardly mentioned in most of the Gospels during the public ministry of Jesus? What was her role among the disciples as they waited for Jesus' promise of the Spirit? Who is Mary for us as Christians today as we try to live a life in the Spirit?
The Gospel and Simplicity
The readings today talk about the gift of the Holy Spirit and begin to prepare us for Pentecost. The first reading tells us that many people were filled with joy at hearing the good news about Jesus from Philip. Upon hearing this, Peter and John, who represented the Apostles, went over and confirmed their faith through the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel, Jesus also talks about the sending of the Holy Spirit after his own ascension into heaven.
God Created Us Very Good
"Do not let your hearts me troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me."
On this 5th Sunday of Easter, we are met again with the words of Jesus that wish us peace. "Peace be with you", we heard repeatedly on Divine Mercy Sunday and as we journey through this season of Easter, we are reminded again not to let our hearts be troubled or to lose our peace because God's mercy and power of redemption is always greater than our littleness. As we continue reflecting on our growth in Christian life, we are reminded that growth is not necessarily a perfect process, but a progressive one filled with trust and harmony in God.
The Solution for Laziness is an Intelligent Faith
Today is Good Shepherd Sunday or Vocation Sunday. It is a day dedicated by the Church to pray for priestly vocations, but at the same time, it is a day to remember that being a Christian is also a vocation, a call to all baptized Christians to become good shepherds like Jesus for others: to our children, our dependents, workmates, classmates, the sick and the elderly, the poor, the disappointed, etc.
"Was it Not Necessary that the Christ Should Suffer?"
As we journey into the Easter season, it is helpful to remember that we are meant not only to celebrate the fact of the Resurrection of Christ, but especially to remember the things that Jesus did and said in his own lifetime and to re-read it all in the light of the Resurrection; and to re-interpret our own lives according to the Lord's Risen life after his suffering. This happens on this Third Sunday of Easter in the walk to Emmaus, where the two disciples of Christ were actually disappointed with the death of Jesus, and the Lord Himself comes up and walks beside them to listen to them and to help them understand the need and purpose for the cross to have a full life.
"Peace be with you"
The Gospel of today shows the disciples gathered in the upper room with fear. Jesus enters in their midst and greets them with his peace, showing them his wounds. At the sight of this, the disciples are filled with joy. It is as if the wounds of Christ in his resurrected body were a sign of hope for all the wounds that are still found in the world. As Christians, we are called to contemplate these wounds like the disciples in order to find peace - peace not in the fact that there are no more problems and struggles in the world, but peace in the faith that Christ has assumed all these wounds in his own body and will bring them all to healing in his own time and ways.